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IRS Tax Audits Archives

Received an IRS audit letter? 4 steps you should consider taking.

As a small business owner, there are few things as frightening as receiving an IRS audit notice. Even the most confident and meticulous book-keepers can instantly be filled with fear and doubt as they imagine the IRS pouring over their financial records looking for potential problems.

4 things the IRS will examine closely during a gas station audit

When it comes to IRS audits, gas stations owners are often at a disadvantage. Not only is a great deal of their business transacted in cash -- making it more difficult to accurately track -- but with few employees, owners often don't have the resources or time to maintain perfect financial records. Even when records are maintained, they are sometimes disorganized or done so sporadically that they are hard to decipher.

Cancellation of debt as income

It is important to remember that cancellation of a debt does not mean that your financial worries will come to an end. Any Michigan taxpayer who has part or all of their debt cancelled may nevertheless need to report this amount as income. When lenders cancel $600 or more of your debt, you should then receive a Form 1099-C providing the amount of the debt cancellation.

Constructive receipt of income and tax reporting

While reporting income on our tax forms is relatively straightforward under certain situations, it's often complex in other instances. We use W-2 forms for reporting income from our employer, and a variety of 1099 forms for reporting other forms of income such as royalties, interest and dividends. This is easy to understand. However, we also sometimes are obligated to report income that does not involve cash such as the constructive receipt of income.

Common mistakes that lead to tax problems

The IRS has numerous resources and law enforcement tools available to collect taxes. Every return faces scrutiny, and mistakes on the return can lead to an IRS tax audit. It is important for Michigan taxpayers to remember that audits frequently result in fines, penalties and possibly imprisonment.

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